The admissions process presents the opportunity for prospective students to reflect on their career and what they’re hoping to achieve by completing an MBA program. Understanding how the Wisconsin MBA Career Management Center works in partnership with Wisconsin MBAs is an important part of the MBA decision making process. As a result, we decided to go right to the source to answer all of your questions with Nichole Monzon, a Career Coach for the Wisconsin MBA Program.
What is the Career Management Center?
The Career Management Center (CMC) is the hub for individual career coaching, career workshops, and interview preparation for the Wisconsin MBA Program. The CMC works in partnership with the student and their center staff, as well as faculty and professionals connected to the Wisconsin School of Business, to find the internship or full-time position with the right fit for you.
Our team is comprised of our Director, Associate Director and myself, a Career Development Coach. The Director of Career Management, Joe Protopapa, works directly with employers and recruiters to build corporate relationships for our students. While he is out making school connections he is also getting insights from companies about what they’re looking for in competitive MBA candidates. The information he brings back helps us better coach our students, and prepares them for success in interview settings.
In addition to coaching duties, Gina Jenkins, our Associate Director of Career and Leadership Development, also focuses on the leadership development of our students overall, and helps define our strategy and learning outcomes for the Leadership Catalyst Program.
What backgrounds do you see in successful MBA candidates?
Wisconsin MBA students come from a variety of different academic backgrounds and careers, but they are all here to make a change in their career trajectory. Much of what we do in the CMC is to help students identify what their transferrable skills are, and help them articulate these effectively both in their resumes and in interviews. Truly successful MBA applicants will be able to convey and illustrate proven leadership skills, communication skills, be able to adapt quickly and effectively, and work well on teams.
The Wisconsin MBA is a smaller program in the Midwest. How do you get employers to come on campus and meet your students?
Our close-knit program works to our benefit. There is a strong connection between faculty, staff, and Wisconsin alumni who are all committed to students’ academic and professional success. Many of our alumni come on campus to recruit from their respective companies for internships and full-time employment. Additionally, our smaller size allows more access for individual students to take part in on-campus recruiting opportunities.
Our students have access to information sessions, company dinners, corporate excursions, and interview opportunities because of the reputation of our MBA program and the proven success of our graduates. Even if companies can’t come to campus they’re still interviewing our students on the phone or Skype, and are flying final round candidates out to their corporate headquarters.
How does the school culture affect the recruiting process?
The Wisconsin MBA Program is very collaborative. There is a sense that once you are a Badger you are always a Badger, and Badgers support one another not only in their academics and team projects, but also throughout the recruiting process. There is a great willingness, for example, to share networking contacts or make professional introductions for classmates. They are also very open about their own interviewing experiences and impressions. Corporate recruiters appreciate this team-oriented approach and, as I mentioned previously, many of the interviewers our students interact with are Wisconsin MBA alumni.
What do recruiters say sets Wisconsin MBA students apart?
Corporate recruiters appreciate the specialized model because they know that our students are focused, have the academic aptitude, and have training in their area of specialization. They also have the general management core coursework that makes our students well-rounded employees who will be good candidates for future leadership positions. They appreciate that Wisconsin MBAs can make an immediate impact at their company and are effective team members.
Curious about the Career Management Center or what you can expect as a Wisconsin MBA student? Please explore our website for more information.